When you were getting ready to go out with your friends for a night of bar hopping and dancing, how much make up did you put on? Why did you put on that much (or that little)? Was it because it brings about some self-confidence, or because you feel that is what will attract potential partners?


A new study suggests that women wear more make up because they think that it is what men want. However, against popular belief, the study also suggests that most men prefer a woman with a clean, more natural look.


According to a recent study in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, “We asked observers to optimize attractiveness for themselves, for what they thought women in general would prefer, and what they thought men in general would prefer.”


Below is an example of three of the progression of pictures that they showed to participants. To start off the study, participants were asked to take a wide variety of pictures before, during, and after they applied their make up. They ended up with 21 pictures that they then showed observers and asked them to pick three separate pictures; their favorite, the one they think most women would prefer, and the one they assume most men would prefer.


Courtesy of Bangor University (refinery29.com)



The study’s findings might not be what you expect; “We found that men and women agree on the amount of cosmetics they find attractive, but overestimate the preferences of women and, when considering the preferences of men, overestimate even more.”


Next time you go to put on some make up, consider the fact that you might not need as much make up as you think you do. Let your natural beauty shine!


Does this change your perspective on make up? What do you think of this study? Would you agree? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @kateeb790!